Suicide Prevention


Suicide is a major public health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United states in 2017, claiming the lives of 47,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10-34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35-54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).
  • The suicide rate among males remained nearly four times higher than among females.

September is National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. We want to use this time to emphasize and reinforce our commitment to all of you, our LAFD Firefighters and family members. We are here for you, just as you are here for the citizens of the City of Los Angeles.

UFLAC and the Los Angeles City Fire Department are committed to your health and wellbeing. To this end, we are building a robust Behavioral Health Program. UFLAC now has two licensed Mental Health Professionals, one certified Addictions/Alcoholism Specialist and a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern. Additionally, the LAFD has two licensed Mental Health Professionals staffing the Fire Department’s Behavioral Health Program. As UFLAC/LAFD members, you and your families have access to all our services, 24/7, at no cost.

Here is how you can contact us:

Hugo Catalan Jr., AMFT, #133892, CATC IV
Director of Behavioral Health Services
Cell:      213-544-5890
eMail:  [email protected]

Dr. Melissa Ryan O’Keefe, PsyD, LMFT #130927
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Cell:      213-544-6100
eMail:  [email protected]

Vera Rodriguez, LMFT, #134497
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Cell:      213-238-3609
eMail:  [email protected]

Tiffany Zamora
Administrative Assistant
Cell:      213-414-0071
eMail:  [email protected]


Additionally, UFLAC/LAFD has a robust Peer Support Program. Currently, we have approximately 115 well-trained Peers on our Team. CLICK HERE for the complete roster with contact information for all of our Team members. Please remember that it is our commitment that no LAFD Firefighter or family member should be alone at a moment of need.


Finally, UFLAC/LAFD is excited to announce that UFLAC’s Center for Health and Wellness is now open and operational! Give us a call and let us know when you would like to come by for a visit. You can reach the Center’s mainline at: 747-200-6266 or you can call our Director of Behavioral Health Services, Hugo Catalan, at 213-544-5890.


Your Behavioral Health and Peer Support Teams